What's up at the FSA Office?

by Cindy Mensen, Acting Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

January 16: Office Closed
February 20: Office Closed

A friendly reminder to all producers who experience ownership or operating changes, purchasing or acquiring new land,  or establishing a trust or legal entity are asked to notify the FSA office as soon as possible after the change has occurred. The sooner this information is shared with the FSA office, the sooner the office can process and update the changes and prevent issues that may arise later in the year.

Beginning Farmers
The Farm Service Agency offers a wide array of loans to producers and one of those loans are targeted towards beginning farmers.  FSA makes and guarantees loans to beginning farmers who are unable to obtain financing from commercial lenders.  To qualify as a beginning farmer, an individual or entity has not operated a farm for more than 10 years, meets the loan eligibility requirements of the program, substantially participates in the operation, and for farm ownership loan purposes, does not own a farm greater than the 30 percent median farm size in the county.

Biomass Crop Assistance Program Overview
The Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) offered through the Farm Service Agency is part of the national strategy to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil, improve domestic energy security and reduce carbon pollution.  BCAP provides funds to assist farmers and forest landowners with growing, maintaining, and harvesting biomass that can be used for energy or biobased products.  If this program would be an interest to you, contact the Allamakee County FSA office for more details.

Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC)
Many farms in Allamakee County have highly erodible land.  These fields must be following conservation plans that are established by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).  Some plans were developed in the 1980’s.  If you are not following your soil saving plan, you may be in violation of the HELC provisions.  Violations could have fines that are up to $10,000 per farm and prevent you from obtaining all government payments.  We encourage you to be cautious when developing your tillage plans for crop year 2017.  If you haven’t reviewed your conservation plan in a while, it’s time to do it.  Stop at the USDA Service Center to review plans on all the land you operate.
For more information or any questions related to FSA programs, please contact the Allamakee County FSA office in Waukon at 563-568-2148.